Panasonic to Sell a Subscription-Based, Farting Companion Robot

Panasonic to Sell a Subscription-Based, Farting Companion Robot

The 20cm-wide robot called Nicobo was developed at Panasonic through a collaboration with Toyohashi University of Technology Michio Oka Laboratory researchers. A crowdfunding campaign in February last year saw 320 of the robots made and sold for $360 each. There were all gone in just seven hours. Now Panasonic is planning a wider launch.To get more news about Robot Subscription, you can visit official website.

Nicobo isn't exactly packed with features. The little robot can't move anything other than its eyes and tail, but it does fart and make sounds that imitate speech as well as saying simple (Japanese) phrases. Panasonic views it simply as a companion and intends to market it to the elderly or for anyone who wants some very low maintenance company.

As Nikkei Asia reports(Opens in a new window), pricing and a release date have yet to be confirmed, but based on current exchange rates the crowdfunded version of Nicobo would sell for $287 today. However, Panasonic is going to include a subscription with the new Nicobo, which allows owners to store their facial data and conversations with the robot in the cloud. Hopefully that's an optional extra as I can't see many people wanting to pay every month for such a feature.
Automated articles of annual reports don’t quite sound like the path to attracting readers, do they? But they have proven to be a major way for Schibsted regional media house Bergens Tidende to explore the next level of news automation.

Automated journalism started out as a pure experiment in Bergens Tidende almost three years ago. With good help from news automation company United Robots, it has overnight become an appreciated addition of content for subscribers. The real estate robot has paved the way, proving to be a valuable and cherished feature, and has since scaled to several other media houses.
We already knew that text automation is great for assembly line production of content. If your goal is to publish as much as possible, automation is the only way to do so in the current media landscape. All real estate sales in your region, all football matches in your area, all the traffic reports: If you have good, quality data, you’re all set.

A regional newspaper such as Bergens Tidende is not staffed for niche journalism or hyperlocal content. The newsroom must go with stories that are interesting and important to as many as possible. And it must prioritise time and effort consuming investigative journalism. This potentially leaves society and readers with blind spots.

With this as our premise, last summer another automation assistant saw the light of day in the BT newsroom: The local business robot. In short, the subscriber feature transforms complicated annual reports into easy-to-read articles, enriched with all available editorial tools and context.


In Norway, these annual reports are public material and have turned out to be a treasure chest for automation. The reports tell us which companies are growing and which are struggling. They tell us which local industries are booming and which are in the red zone. They tell us how much money owners and CEOs make. And a lot more on top of that.